Karahan Tepe and The Serpent Motif

Quetzalcoatl was the ‘vaulted serpent’ of Aztec culture. The ‘Rainbow Serpent’ was the primary creator God inside indigenous Australian culture. Were these myths merely cultural interpretations of the same Shining One from the Sky?

Twelve Miles East of Eden

Archaeologists have been working at a new dig site since 1997, a kind of ‘sister site’ to Göbekli Tepe, called Karahan Tepe. The site is located near Sanliurfa in Anatolia, Turkey, and is roughly 35 kilometers east of the Göbekli Tepe site along with its fertile garden plain of Paddam Aram (‘Harran Plain’ in the image to the right). The Karahan Tepe site is now considered to possibly be even older than its sister site, both at around 11,500 years old.1

In a previous article, we cited the legacy which this region has played inside the mythology of the Arameans (forerunners of the Aramaic-speaking peoples); and in particular, the development of Antiochus I’s Hierothesion at Nemrut Dağ. It is our construct that key elements of the mythology related in the documents which eventually became the Bible’s rendition of Genesis, played out inside this very region. A region also known as the Fertile Crescent or Cradle of Civilization.

The purpose of this article is simply to highlight an observation I have made regarding the Serpent Motif which was carved by the builders of Karahan Tepe at the top of chamber 3, or what is known as the unfinished ‘hypogeum pit’. I contend that the idea should be seriously considered, that this motif represents not a literal serpent, but rather the Sagittarius central plane, or what is called the Great Rift of the Milky Way galaxy, as viewed in the night sky from Earth. The comparison is drawn in Exhibit A below.

Exhibit A – The Shining One – carved into the limestone above the third main chamber (the hypogeum pit) at the Karahan Tepe archaeological site in Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey is the motif of a viper serpent. This compares structurally to a portion of the dark-banded ‘Great Rift’ of the Milky Way galaxy, visible in the night sky. The head of the serpent begins in the constellation Norma, and then ranges back through the tail of Scorpio, and into the bow of Sagittarius (the serpent’s tail). Should not be confused with the Serpens Cauda constellation in the nearby sky.

For a placement perspective view of Exhibit A from Starry Night Pro, dated to January 9500 BCE in the nighttime southeastern sky of south Anatolia, click on the image below.

Exhibit B – The Nâchâsh – sky placement along the Milky Way’s Great Rift. January 9500 BCE in the nighttime southeastern sky of south Anatolia (Karahan Tepe).

Nachash, the Hebrew word for serpent, actually possesses three coincident meanings:2 3 4

As a noun, it means serpent (Sanskrit naga).
As a verb, it means to divine; the nachash means the diviner.
As an adjective (from the nâchâsh root, ‘to shine’), it means shining; the nachash means the shining one.

All three forms of definition bear relevant context inside the analogy outlaid in this article. In an ancient form of the revered mythology of mankind, which was much later co-opted into the religious privations of various highly-biased sects and cults, one rendition of a familiar tale reads thusly:

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

~ Genesis 3: 1-6, New King James Bible
The Serpent’s Face – the AB Chamber at Karahan Tepe.

Were the hapless human creatures, suffering anosognosia and involuntary servitude inside this mythological play, being instructed/deceived by a serpent indeed? Or perhaps, someone whom mankind merely associated with The Serpent Motif?

The Church-expunged Gnostic texts, Hypostasis of the Archons and On the Origin of the World (both recovered from extermination in 1945 at Nag Hammadi) for instance, reverse these deified roles in Genesis, identifying the plural ‘LORD God’ (Elohim) as the demigod Samael (I Enoch ShemYaza and later, Ha-Satan) and his Archons (the fallen Enochian ‘Watcher Angels’).

These ancient writings identify The Serpent in contrast, as being an ‘Instructor’ not of Earthly origin – a dispeller of belief (see What Constitutes Belief?). Did the culture which built Karahan Tepe honor, through this monument complex, a mythology or even recent history which was impacted by such a character?

Bolt’s Axiom – a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.

Shall we forget in particular, Quetzalcoatl, the ‘serpent of extraordinary feathering’ of Aztec culture, or the Aboriginal ‘Rainbow Serpent’, the primary creator God inside indigenous Australian culture? Do we dismiss the Seraphim of Isaiah 6, the ‘fiery ones’ of angelic human form with wings? The root seraph, in the original meaning, ‘fiery serpents’.

Mythology assigns the role of this serpent motif, as an agent in the dispelling of our state of ‘distraction, ignorance, and stupor’ – the anosognosia of modern mankind. To wit:

The Ethical Skeptic’s Razor (The Antiwisdom of Crowds)

Among competing alternatives, all other things being equal, prefer the one for which discussion or research is embargoed.

Power, Politics, Narrative, and Profit demand a level of transparency which obviates that same burden upon mere dissent.

What is enforced by Narrative, can also be dismissed as Narrative.

Were these serpent motifs merely cultural interpretations of the same Shining One from the Sky, the Nachash? Only time and persistence bear even a remote chance of revealing that answer.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Karahan Tepe and The Serpent Motif”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 2 Feb 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=70739